Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Internet isn't Safe for the Young!

I love technology but like everything good it has a bad side.

Today kids can access the internet almost anywhere, with anything.  Parents believe they know what their kids are doing on the internet and when.  Not true.  All you need is 1 kid with a smartphone or even an Ipod(and there are lots out there with them) they can go online and view whatever they want and then show it to others.  They get access to sites that are for adults (some of which shouldn't even exist but as long as someone wants it, it will be there) and these young people think what they see is okay.  They think, "Hay it is there so I guess it is ok, normal. So it is okay for us too.  Some kids have access to the internet at home, hopefully most are monitored.  The parents probably think they have blocked a lot of these sites but there is always a way around these blocks.  Many kids can change the settings on the computer, or know the passwords.  It is amazing that kids seem to know how to do this better than most adults.  They know how to delete history.  Incognito browsers are a parent’s worst nightmare.  You can change the passwords but if they turn off the computer and restart they can still get in.  Unless you lock the start up control with a password, they don’t know.  Many people don’t do this because if they forget the password they will need professional help to get back on.

In most cases there is always someone with a computer and access to the internet that they can use without restrictions.  Unprotected Wi-Fi in your area allows anyone to use it.  This is dangerous on many levels if you have information on the device you are using that is private.  (e.g. banking, credit card and PHOTOS).

 Many kids actually own their own computer/laptop.  Although some kids learn to use computers and the internet a school, many learn how to use them at home.  They soon learn what they can find there.  Videos, chat rooms and sites to teach them how to do whatever they decide to look up.  And I mean anything.

One of the first things they learn for school is who to use a search engine.  Type in the wrong thing or spell something wrong and you may get the shock of your life.  When I don’t know what something means I copy and paste in a search engine to find out what it means.  So can they.

Or they find they can sign up for different social apps like Facebook.  (Not picking on Facebook there are other sites they can sign up for too).  They use game sites and consoles that have chat and see what others are saying and doing.  Even some that are strictly for kids can surprise you.  Just sit down and watch them some time.  The topics and language will shock you.  I am not saying they are all like that but many are.

The sad part is we need to teach the adults the same as the children.  If you have kids or kids visit you need to know what they know and more.

You have to recognize the dangers.  To many say I don’t want to learn the internet or the computer.  I am too old to learn.  I know what I need to know.

Everyone needs to learn.  I love my computers and toys but it amazes me when a kid can come in show me something I didn't know!  And I don’t mean just teenagers –kids.

Kids will always do what they know they shouldn't.  Tell them not to say something-they say it.  Not to do something-they do it.  The kids or young people should not be able to use the internet without supervision.  Some parents say their children know better, they trust them.  What about their friends?  Your child might not do that but one of their friends will say it is safe, they do it, nothing ever happened to them. That just happens in movies or big cities.  Oh it is easy just lie about how old you are.  Don’t use your real name.

There is no such thing as a place on the internet that is safe for kids.

Adults, even responsible ones make the mistake of doing or saying things on the internet they would never say in front of kids.  And some actually talk that way in front of them.  They swear, call people names, say things like they must be high or on drugs, drunk.  Or even worse and say it is because of the country they are from or the color of their skin or even their religion.  That is no example to set for young people, they think it is ok to say these things and it isn't.  There are many reasons people are on drugs/drink and I think it would surprise many to find out just how many of these people have been abused in one form or another.  Every race, religion and country in the world has their good and bad people.

I have actually seen people "yell" and swear and accuse others of things on the internet and than say later - well I didn't mean you all knew that.  We did? what about the ones who saw it and didn't know you?  Many on Facebook think it is okay to go to another's pages and "yell" at them young people and older.  They don't seem to realize that all their friends and friend's friends(in some cases the public) can see it. And then there are others who do it so only a few see.  I don't care who sees it you don't do that!  If you are mad or upset talk!  In most cases it is mis-information that started it.

I actually saw a woman tell outright lies and swear on her own blog and then was proud to say she let her daughter read it.  What is that teaching?  It is okay to lie, swear and threaten?  I see people on Facebook and even YouTube(the stuff I read here really upset me when I realized that Amanda must have seen this before she died), while I was reading on Amanda Todd, swearing and threatening others, showing no respect or feelings towards her, posting pictures that others posted, that should never be re-posted for any reason.  We know these things exist, we want them off, and we don’t want to see them.  If we see them that will mean others will see it, all they are doing is passing them around.  Letting others see it thinking hay I will share.

I am not perfect and will never claim to be, I make mistakes.  But I will always try to be fair and not call people names, threaten them and try very hard not to swear.

I don’t bully, ever.  It is another form of abuse, and a very common one.  It affects young people and adults.  No one is immune to Bullying.

And now-a-days the bully doesn't even have to live near you!

If you keep up with the news you heard about the group who said they found Amanda's blackmailer.  They posted address and everything they knew including a name.  According to the police they had the wrong guy. (he may have broken laws, if what they say they found is true)  But they shouldn't have released that information to the public, they should have given it to the police before naming names and addresses. Here is the article

Another thing we do not want to teach to children!

And now they are accusing someone else:

Amanda Todd: Online group Anonymous now accuses U.S. man of tormenting Amanda Todd

I have added a few links under "Links from Posts" from different news sites about Anonymous.  

Thanks for listening and letting me vent J
Alice M 

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